Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | January 11, 2016

Picoblog Question – 2016 – Post #3

Picoblog Question – 2016 – Post #3

Recently, this question has come up quite a bit in the media. What are the differences between a Socialist, a Progressive, and a Democrat?

My two cents, but please share yours:

The 2D Political-Definitions Model and the Four-Boxes-and-a-Constraint Analytical Tool (please see Picoblog Question – 2016 – Posts #1 and #2) can be used to help answer this question.

Socialists are Totalitarians, namely, low-freedom Centrists (south section of the plus sign). They do not favor the US Constitution, preferring that government owns and controls the individual’s necessities of life (property) and controls the individual.

Progressives are those who wish to see socialism implemented “slowly, gradually, progressively.” Other than the speed of implementation, Progressives and Socialists are the same.

Democrats can be Liberals (pro-US Constitution, strongly favor social/personal freedoms), left-leaning Centrists, or Totalitarians (Socialists, Progressives, Communists, etc.).


  1. I disagree with your statement “Democrats can be Liberals (pro-US Constitution, strongly favor social/personal freedoms).” They give lip service to the Constitution while trying their best to subvert it by packing the courts with people who will ‘interpret’ it according to their will rather than going by the obvious meaning of the words. They also give lip service to ‘social/personal freedoms’ while promulgating more and more regulations.

    As you always say, Ashley – cheers.

    • This is why I prefer the 2D political-definitions (plus sign) model to the 1D Liberal (Democrat) – Centrist (Independent) – Conservative (Republican) model most people still use, David.

      The 2D model clearly distinguishes between pro-US Constitution Liberals (medium freedom, favor social/personal freedoms to economic freedoms) and anti-US Constitution Totalitarians (low freedom Centrists), both being under the Democrat umbrella. The 1D model mixes these two very different groups, calling both Liberals. In the 2D model, any Democrat who pays “lip service” as you describe should be classified as a Totalitarian, not as a Liberal.

      There is a somewhat similar problem on the Republican side. The Republican umbrella includes Conservatives and Libertarians. Per the 2D model, both are pro-US Constitution, but these two groups are very different. Libertarians are high freedom Centrists, favoring social/personal freedoms and economic freedoms equally. The Conservatives are medium freedom folks, favoring economic freedoms to social/personal freedoms.

      Cheers, Ashley

  2. I don’t agree with those definitions:D

    • Hi Linda,

      You get to choose between the 1D and 2D political-definitions models (haven’t found a good 3D model, yet). Pick the one you find most useful and provides the most clarity in conversations with others.

      I prefer to use the 2D model because its definitions are consistent with the hardcopy and online dictionaries I use, and because this model fixes the problem of correctly characterizing Libertarians and Totalitarians. For example, Libertarians (typically registered as either Independents or Republicans) often say they “do not want to be controlled by the far left or the far right.” Those who use the 1D model often either ignore Libertarians entirely or lump them in with the far right, which is just plain inaccurate.

      The definitions and analysis tools described in this picoblog are like hammers and screwdrivers. Pick and use whatever works best for you. 🙂

      Cheers, Ashley

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